This multi-day Yosemite tour from San Jose allows you to separately book your own accommodations. The slowed pace and loads of free time will permit you to experience a Giant Sequoia grove and enjoy leisurely hikes or bike rides to Yosemite National Park’s famous nature, monuments and waterfalls. Guaranteed departures every day of the year.
This tour is ideal for independent travelers or campers. Make your own overnight arrangements, or reserve a campsite. Please keep in mind that the tour bus has very limited space for luggage, so try to keep it small!
San Jose pick-up, transportation to Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Valley Tour and drop off at Yosemite Lodge, where you start your independent exploration of Yosemite.
The third day, you will meet the tour group, and return to San Jose.
The Multi-Day Yosemite National Park tour is a perfect way to spend time doing activities that our 1-day tour doesn’t have time for. Do some all-day hiking and climb to the top of Yosemite Falls or the Half Dome, or only partway, to the top of Nevada Falls or Vernal Falls. The amazing Mirror Lake is just a short uphill walk, and you can just take it easy and walk around the beautiful valley floor, and ride NPS vehicles (such as the tram), or bus it up to Glacier Point, or the Mariposa Grove. In winter, some locations are inaccessible, but the scenery is completely different – the Yosemite Valley itself is a winter waterfall wonderland, and there are times when you might feel you have the place to yourself.
Note: If you are not staying at one of the hotels within Yosemite Valley, please only bring with you what you can easily carry as there are limited (or no) storage options.
6:00 - 7:00 AM
Begin your Yosemite National Park tour with a convenient pickup at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose.
7:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Continuing east, descend into the San Joaquin Valley and stop for a break and a snack.
9:15 - 11:00 AM
Begin the climb into the foothills, through gold country, and up into the Sierra Nevada range and Yosemite National Park.
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Explore Yosemite's many amazing sights with an informative narrated valley tour from your guide. OR weather permitting* drive to the trail for a hike (two miles round trip) to the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias. – This stop is dependent on snow levels and trail conditions from October to May. See Winter Tour Itinerary. Pick up a to-go lunch or snacks at the grocery/deli stop in the morning for you to enjoy after your hike. Alternatively you can wait for hot meal from one of the restaurants available near the Yosemite Lodge later in the afternoon.
1:00 - 2:30 PM
Be amazed by Bridalveil Falls, El Capitan, Inspiration Point, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls and more! Enjoy a mini-hike and plenty of photo stops around the Yosemite Valley.
2:30- 6:00 PM
Your independence begins. Check out your options, check your bags, and check out Yosemite! And check the YARTS schedule if you are staying outside the Park!
7:00 - 8:00 AM
Get up early, check out, grab your bags and get on the bus if needed, and get started!
9:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Spend the morning in Yosemite on your own. Grab a lunch, and get back to Yosemite Lodge. IMPORTANT: CALL US TOLL-FREE AT 1-866-231-3752 TO CONFIRM PICK-UP TIME AND PLACE!
2:30 - 3:00 PM
Meet your guide and start the return trip, descending from the Sierras, with more great scenery as we follow the sun to the west.
4:30 - 5:30 PM
Stop for a break, a stretch, and a bite to eat. Begin your return to San Jose
8:00 - 9:30 PM
Continue back to San Jose, enjoying views of the sunset over the hills.
6:30 - 8:30 PM
The Yosemite tour concludes at the San Jose Fairmont between 8:00 - 9:30 PM depending on traffic.
Read more helpful articles about Yosemite in our BLOG.
Comfortable shoes for walking
Extra spending money for meals or snacks
A light jacket (easily removable) in case of wind
Water bottle (optional)
Warm clothes and a waterproof jacket (during the winter months)
Hat and sunscreen (during the summer months)
Sturdy umbrella (if the forecast calls for rain)
This tour takes about 14-15 hours.
Temperatures vary depending on the season and time of day in Yosemite, so we recommend that you wear layered clothing in case of unexpectedly climbing or falling temperatures. We do not recommend wearing shorts or sleeveless shirts in the winter. However, we realize that everyone is acclimated to different weather and thus trust you to make your own judgement. For footwear, we recommend comfortable walking shoes, such as regular tennis shoes, sneakers, or boots with rubber soles and treads. In the summer months, hiking sandals can be worn on the Total Yosemite Experience, but high heels, beach flip-flops, and other open-toed shoes are not recommended.
Yosemite weather varies depending on the season. Average temperature data is below.
SUMMER MONTHS (JUNE, JULY, AUGUST):
Average High temperature: 87°F / 31°C
Average Low temperature: 55°F / 13°C
WINTER MONTHS (DECEMBER, JANUARY, FEBRUARY):
Average High temperature: 48°F / 9°C
Average Low temperature: 29°F / -2°C
Meals are not included on this tour. We do make a stop about halfway to Yosemite, where you can buy a snack or meal to take with you. There are also restaurants and a deli in Yosemite Valley where you can purchase lunch and snacks.
No, unfortunately there is no kitchen nor is there an outdoor campfire or grill due to fire safety hazards. If you are staying overnight in the park your accommodation may have an indoor kitchen area. Please plan ahead before selecting your hotel.
The tour is narrated in English but we offer complimentary audio guides in 8 languages: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Japanese, and Portuguese. If an audio guide is required, please specify the languages needed in the comments section on the reservation page.
We have a variety of vehicles ranging from an 8-passenger van to a 41-passenger Minibus. As we have several different vehicles, please call on the morning of your tour to determine which vehicle will be hosting your tour as well as the name of your Expedition Leader. The Yosemite Bus Tour operates in a large Motor Coach with even more people.
The hike is dependent on trail and weather conditions. The Grove usually only available from April to October. If you choose not to participate in the hike, then you can stay with the bus at the top of the trail as you wait for the rest of the group to return from the hike. The hike is about 2 miles round-trip (about 60 minutes round-trip, depending on your pace) and has a paved trail with 400 ft (122m) incline.
Yosemite National Park has a free, year-round Yosemite Valley Shuttle with stops at most major sights of interest and some trailheads. You can also take YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System) for a fee if you wish to travel outside the park to the surrounding area.
Unfortunately, you cannot use your pass on this tour. The entrance price for Yosemite National Park is based on the vehicle used and not on the number of individuals in the vehicle, and is paid all at once by our Expedition Leader. Therefore, the $10 fee is added to the cost of the tour when you pay.
You are allowed up to travel with up to 2 items (i.e. 1 Personal item + 1 Overnight bag) free of charge. These items must be within the size limitations. Each additional item above the 2-item allowance will incur a $25 excess luggage fee.
The maximum size allowed for an overnight bag is 24”x16”x10”, or 60cmx40cmx25cm. Any “Oversize” luggage larger than those dimensions is $50 regardless of the number of personal items brought on board. (i.e. 1 Oversized luggage - $50, 2 Oversized pieces = $100). You must advise us of oversize luggage 48 hours prior to departure in order to guarantee the accommodation of the luggage on the vehicle.
Note: If you are not staying overnight at one of the hotels within Yosemite Valley, please only bring with you what you can easily carry as there are limited to no storage options available while you explore.
You will be dropped off around lunch time close to the Yosemite Valley Lodge. You will need to make your own way to your accommodation. The Yosemite National Park has a free, year-round Yosemite Valley Shuttle that stops at most major points of interest and some trailheads. You can also take YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System) for a fee if you wish to travel outside the park to the surrounding area. For some hotels it will be necessary to take this public transportation in order to reach your lodging. If you plan to stay overnight in the park, please check the location of your accommodation before making a reservation and be sure to plan ahead accordingly. Please see either the National Park Service website or yarts.com respectively for the relevant shuttle schedule times and routes.
At this time, we do not visit any hotel except the Yosemite Valley Lodge. You will be responsible for acquiring your own transportation to and from where you leave our tour in Yosemite Valley (near the Yosemite Valley Lodge) and rejoin it for your return trip.
If you are staying at Yosemite Valley Lodge (also known as the Yosemite Park Lodge), it is only a five-minute walk to the hotel. All other lodging must be accessed by either the free Yosemite Shuttle or by taking YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System) to your destination. You will need to make your own way to your accommodation. Please see either the National Park Service website or yarts.com respectively for the relevant shuttle schedule times and routes. If you plan to stay overnight in the park, please check the location of your accommodation before making a reservation and be sure to plan ahead accordingly.
We are currently the only tour company in the Bay Area with the Total Yosemite Experience from San Jose! More information can be found on our website here, or you can call our office at 1-866-231-3752 (toll free from the USA) or 1-415-357-0700 to speak with a reservations agent directly.
A minimum number of participants are required before the tour can be confirmed, and our online reservation system does not reflect current availability. Please call our office at 1-866-231-3752 (toll free from the USA) or 1-415-357-0700 to confirm tour availability.
Yes, we request that you reach out to us on the day of your return to confirm your pickup time and location inside Yosemite National Park. You can contact us via our live chat function or by calling our office at 1-866-231-3752 (toll free from the USA) or +1-415-357-0700 (internationally) during office hours. You can call us from your hotel’s phone if you do not have a working mobile phone while you are in the area.